Oasis of the Seas – Day One – Boarding

Oasis of the Seas is docked before we awake in the Country Inn & Suites where we stayed last night. The hotel itself was fine. Pretty basic but clean and comfortable. Perfect for an overnighter. We head to Grills Tiki Bar for breakfast. I order Eggs Benedict and hash brown which is very good. The bar itself sits in the shadow of Oasis as the cruise terminal is right next door. She towers above the small bar and we can see folk on the top deck, no doubt ready to disembark from the last cruise.

Back at the hotel, we make some last minute preparations before heading to the car rental to return our Jeep. Hertz is literally next door so only takes us minutes. Soon after we are in the complimentary Hertz shuttle to the cruise terminal. We are the only ones aboard and we have a very friendly and chatty driver. He drops us off at 10.30am and we have our sea pass cards in hand by 10.45 and onboard at 11am. Another amazingly efficient check-in process from Royal Caribbean.

We head straight to Central Park and find some comfy lounge seats. Peter disappears to the Trellis Bar for cocktails. He brings me back an Old Fashioned…my favourite. We relax for an hour or so people watching. Peter disappears to Giovanni‘s to secure our dinner reservations. On this trip, we have the deluxe dining package so can eat in any of the speciality restaurants every night if we wish. We settle on Giovanni’s, 150, Sabor, Chops Grille, Gio, Sabor and Chops again. This could change depending on how we enjoy them or not.

We move from Central Park and stroll through the Boardwalk past the large Carousel towards the Aqua Theatre. We decide to have a beer on the Rising Tide bar as we await the announcement that the cabins are ready. Peter gets chatting to a couple from the cruise critic message board. This happens a lot and means we get to meet people we never normally would of.

Precisely at 1pm we hear the cabins are ready. As we reach Cabin 8692 we notice our luggage had already arrived, more RCI efficiency. We dump our bags and head to the Park Cafe for some lunch and their delicious beef rolls with gravy and horseradish.

Muster drill is a complete but necessary bore. I think most of my fellow cruisers feel the same. At least we are not stood on the outer decks with life jackets like back in the day. Following the drill, we head to the back of the ship on deck 5 as we know the Port Canaveral Webcam will be trained on us as we leave. Just as we are slipping our moorings a weather front catches up with us and rain comes down in a torrent. I feel sorry for the poor guy releasing the ship’s ropes as he must have been drenched in seconds.

We head back to the cabin for our customary sail away champagne. The captain advises the sea as we leave port will be a bit rocky due to the high winds. He mentions waves 2 to 3 metres but we hardly feel any movement all night even though we can see the waves are fairly high. One of the benefits of being on such a large ship with an extremely wide beam, she can handle most things.

We head out around 7pm to Boleros which is the Cuban/Hispanic themed bar on the ship. G&T for Peter and Jack&Diet for me. From Boleros, we head to the Champagne Bar for cocktails. My Sidecar (a favourite of mine) is undrinkable as it’s way too bitter. We have the deluxe drinks package so it no big deal I can just order a different drink at no extra cost. We note that the Rising Tide Bar, which is situated just outside the Champagne Bar, is due to lift off at 7.45pm so we wait for it to come down from Central Park and grab a couple of seats. We never managed to try this on Allure of the Seas so we wanted to ensure we ticked it off our to-do list. We were nearly thwarted in our attempts as the staff had some difficulty locking the entrance gates. Eventually, they do and we rise slowly up above the Promenade and up 3 Decks to Central Park. We finish off our wine in the always quiet Vintages.

Dinner tonight is at Giovanni’s Table. We have had some very hit and miss experiences I this restaurant on other Royal Caribbean ships but tonight was a good one. Service was perhaps a bit too rushed which seems to be something of a norm we are finding. Perhaps because we are just a party of 2 and relatively unfussy about how we like things. I am sure that if we asked for things to be taken down a gear they would.

We share an Antipasti to start which is very good, especially the blue cheese. We are served an excellent Kendall Jackson Chardonnay before we enjoy our mains. I go full Italian with pasta. Carbonara with a poached egg on top. Never had an egg with my carbonara before but it works. Peter has the Filletto Di Manza which is another favourite and which some claim is a better steak than you will get in Chops Grille. We finish with Tiramisu and Cannoli.

We finish the evening in the Schooner Bar where we again make our acquaintance with Kendall Jackson.

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Patrick O'Halloran

Cruisers, Bloggers, Cocktail Drinkers.

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